So it’s been a long time. How long, you might ask, since I posted? Well, so long that a new cheesemaker in town has opened its creamery doors and developed not one, but three signature cheeses. My excuse? I now have not one, but three signature children. It’s been a bit busy.
But bygones – I’m here again, with a brand-new computer that can handle oodles of cheese photos, and I’m going to make up for lost time. And there’s no better place to start than a few miles away, where the Lone Grazer Creamery is upping Minnesota’s urban cheesemaking game.
Founded by Kieran Folliard, a local restaurateur and spirits producer, and led by Faribault Creamery veteran Rueben Nilsson, the Lone Grazer started sharing its first-rate cheese curds early last year. Since then, the creamery has introduced three aged cheeses, and the first one I tasted was Hansom Cab, a pudge of a cheese washed in Folliard’s 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey and tea. Not the first combination I’d dream up, but to Nilsson’s credit, it works.
The craggy, orange-hued rind looks as if it skates the border between edible and hmm…, but you need to eat it to get the full flower of the whiskey/tea combination. The sweet, grassy flavor seeps into the semi-firm paste, but its oomph is in the rind. The interior has a distinctive meaty characteristic, but it’s milder than strong stinkers like Red Hawk.
The gentler aroma makes Hansom Cab office-lunch-friendly – my suggestion would be to layer several slices between a light-grain bread, sweet chutney or quince jelly and the crunch of mild apple. Of course, if you’re lunching at home, add a tipple of whiskey. We won’t tell.